The filmIt’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World was probably the last big budget screwball comedy featuring the best of the best comedians from the era. Flash forward 50 years later and some things have changed, others haven’t but George Ann Muller and Peter Scarbo hunted down the locations and reshot them today for scene by scene comparisons. Its not all L.A but it sure is a lot of SoCal much of which we call our playground now.
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I’ve mulled over the news from earlier this week of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council declaring the community it serves as NOT a part of The Eastside.
I’d've thought I’d be all HELLYEAH! right outta the gate, given my past protestations (that’ve mellowed somewhat in my old age) against those over-insulated 135,938 natives and the 1.6-million transplants who live in the Westside and drink deeply of the koolaid that leaves them to believe with varying degrees of commitment that their vastly superior end of the city begins and ends on the ocean-side of…uh, you name it: Speedway Alley, Lincoln, Bundy, the 405, La Cienega, or La Brea, making the other end THEIR eastside for the simple reason that all that riff raff resides east of them. How proprietary.
But instead I surprised myself at being sort of meh at the strictly symbolic and mostly meaningless action. There certainly was a part of me that was satisfied and tried to rah rah at the decision — especially when I read subsequent news stories that took the idiotic angle that Silver Lake had voted to “secede.” As if it had gone all South Carolina on some sort of Greater Eastside union. How con-veeeeeen-ient!
But ultimately it was just a big shoulder shrug. Because I’ve figured out that it’s a waste of time. We live in a city that has built itself by marginalizing its past, so how can I expect so many of its citizens not do the same? In a city that itself has a history of discarding its history as it sprawled so ever nebulously outward from its core, convincing those residents adamantly ignorant of our city’s socio-geographic foundations to look at a different perspective is about as easy as convincing those entitled aggressive motorists they don’t have a right to run me and my bike off the road.
Ultimately what’s important to me now is not changing anyone’s mind but knowing what I know and respecting what so many others couldn’t care less about: that I reside (somewhere in that orange dot I added to that pictured map fragment above) on the land that ultimately became known as Silver Lake which stands in the northWEST corner of the boundaries of the original 16 Spanish Leagues centered upon the plaza where in 1781 — when the main thing going on in the Westside was waves crashing — was established El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula and incorporated as the City of Los Angeles in 1850.
To me, that’s as easy as 2, 1, 3.
20 years ago my young family and I were in Valley Village some 6 or 7 miles from the epicenter of the Northridge Quake. It was probably the most frigthening moment of my life, far worse than any tornado we rode out as a kid back in the midwest. When the ground stopped shaking, there wasn’t a piece of anything we owned in its original place, complete and total mess with tons of breakage. My building had a lot of damage, others on my street literally collapsed. I vowed that morning to be better prepared for the next one.
Now I have ample food and water in EQ kits in the house and garage. We have EQ kits in all the cars. I know its redundant, but if one falls down there a chance we can still get to the other. I learned the hard way in NR to have cash on hand as the debit and credit card machines are down for days. Big things are quake strapped, little things that we want to keep are down with quake hold. I also keep a flashlight in every room with redundant battery supplies. My cars rarely go below half a tank, as well gas stations are out of order for days as well. I participate in the annual Shake Out preparedness drill. When the next big one strikes I’ll probably be as scared as I was in NR, but I will be prepared better for the aftermath. Read the rest of this entry →
Entire Honda Accord Line named “Green Car of the Year”
The rain may have slowed down the award show start yesterday, but the end result was a lot of folks at Honda’s Torrance headquarters must have been elated. Celebratory even. In a crowded field of worthy competitors Honda’s Accord line, not just a single model, but the entire line of 4cyl, V6, hybrid and plug-in hybrid Accords with their “Earth Dreams” technology won Green Car of the Year. Quite an accomplishment and hats off to the folks in the South Bay for bringing the award home.
The 2013 LA Auto Show is without a doubt the best I’ve seen since I started covering it in 2007 for blogging.la There were some 50 World Premiere’s at this years show of some really stunning cars. BMW chose us as the auto show to introduce us to their new “i” program, that will in time be as recognized and as important as the “M” series is to them. For a pic of my winners and losers for this years show you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →
Inspired by Militant Angeleno’s awesome “88 Suburbs In Search Of Their Names” post from last week and equipped with the indispensable “1500 California Place Names” by William Bright, I decided to crack the latter open and see if I couldn’t add to the former’s impressive list of suburbs ‘n stuff. Turns out I could. Some are almost too obvious or well known to mention (Century City? Duh) and some are about as obscure as it gets (Lamanda Park?), but I mention them anyway — and there are a few that are pretty cool (check out the the 220-year-old typo that is Point Dume and the darkness that lurks behind the meaning of “Verdugo”).
So without further to-do, here’s my 65 supplemental places (64 in Los Angeles County and a 471-year-old one just up PCH in Ventura County). Enjoy!
Angeles National Forest: So named in 1908 because the larger part of the forest is within Los Angeles County.
Ballona Creek: From the Ballona land grant of 1839; probably a misspelling of Bayona, the name of a town in Spain.
Bel-Air: Named for its developer, Alphonso Bell, in 1923, on the model of French bel air, meaning “fresh air.”
Bouquet Canyon: A misinterpretation of Spanish El Buque, “the ship,” the nickname of a French sailor who settled there.
Brentwood: Named after Brentwood in Essex, England, the ancestral home landowner John Marsh.
Cahuenga Pass: From the Gabrielino village name kawé’nga, probably meaning “at the mountain.”
Canoga Park: Named in the 1890s after Canoga, New York, which was originally a Cayuga (Iroquoian) village.
Castaic: From Ventureño Chumas kashtiq, “the eye, the face”.
Centinela Creek: From the Spanish word for “sentry, sentinel.”
Century City: Named for 20th Century Fox film studios, on the site of which it was built, starting in 1961.
Chatsworth: Named in 1887 after the estate of the Duke of Devonshire in England.
Chilao: Formerly Chileo or Chilleo, a nickname of the herder Jose Gonzales, famous for killing a grizzly bear near here with only a hunting knife. Chil- what? Yeah, me too. It’s primarily a campground area waaay up in the Angeles National Forest.
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American Sabor opens on Saturday Nov 16th at Cal State University LA with a huge open house. Its an exhibit on loan to CSULA until February 6 2014. The Exhibit is here are part of a grant from Ford Motor Company. The exhibit left me speechless. Yes, I knew some of the famous names, but I never knew until touring this exhibit the depth that Latin Music, its flavor or sabor has influenced all of American Music.
More importantly this exhibit has a portion dedicated solely to the contributions of Angelenos, specifically East LA in the 1990s. That will be part of the permanent collection at CSULA when the Smithsonian moves on loan to its next city. Famous Angelenos starting with Desi Arnaz and flash forward to Black Eyed Peas I was amazed, outright blown away with the influence Latin music has had on pop music, hip hop, jazz and other genres. Other artists of note that are showcased in the exhibit are Alice Bag, Los Lobos, Los Illegals, and Quetzal. Read the rest of this entry →
Blogging leads to adventures and fun soirees. Last night I was invited to a pretty swanky affair celebrating 50 years of Mustang and Fashion. It was held at The Standard Hotel on Sunset in WeHo. This shirt was worn by the wait staff from the hotel’s Event Department and we couldn’t get them to give one up for us.
The event is documented in my flickr set, and was actually a lot of fun. Great food, nice cocktails and cars with pretty models next to them. The Standard itself is quite the place. I remember it as the Golden Crest Hotel, then a retirement home when I first moved here, then it was abandoned for a while. Quite the come back as you will note from the pictures.
The show itself was a fun bit of high zoot fashion history intermingled with a particular generation of the Mustang. The speakers were L.A.’s own Christos Garkinos an expert in all things vintage along with Ford Design Director Joel Piaskowski who talked about the cars. Read the rest of this entry →
I have to admit, I’m a fan of the French Dip and its quite the conundrum for me to chose between Cole’s and Philippe’s sandwiches. Both are very good, terrific au jus, tender meat that tastes the way it should. They aren’t that far apart in price and neither is going to break the bank.
Atmosphere, both got a ton. Philippe’s is more of a fast food vibe with lines and find your own table at your own risk during peak times. Cole’s is more of a sit down dark old timey bar that has charm all onto itself starting with the tinned ceilings and going down to the antique booths.
Both claim to be the original French Dip. Neither will relinquish the title to the other, suffice it to say I think L.A. can lay claim to the sandwich as its own and we can move on. You won’t go wrong with either French Dip Sammy.
Philippe has the edge on convenience for me. Getting there is a quick hop on the Gold Line to Union Station and a 5 minute walk. Cole’s is more involved and finding parking in the area can be a challenge, except for weekends.
Which is your favorite? Why? Sound off in the comments for kicks and giggles.
I love old home movies, even those that aren’t my family. They are wonderful documentary’s of our past giving little snippets into how we lived. Nostalgic at times, foretelling at others. Its all just one simple capture of a moment in time with live action and often no sound other than the hum, whir and clicks of the projector. Marvelous stuff.
This year marks the 11th Anniversary of Home Movie Day, sponsored by the Center for Home Movies a local non-profit. Angelenos are invited to bring their home movies in a variety of formats, from the “super 8″ to VHS to share at the event. Yes, that precious film of you playing in the sand box and finding kitty was there first can be share with all of Los Angeles at this festival. Admission to this portion of the days events is FREE.
Following Home Movie Day will be Hollywood Home Movies IV. This is a curated showing of fims from the golden age of film that is sponsored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. This portion of the day does have the nominal admission of $5, $3 for students and seniors.
DEETS: Sunday October 12th. 11AM film drop off starts. Screenings for Home Movie Day are noon to 4 PM. Screenings for Hollywood Home Movies IV begin at 7PM. Both are being held at the Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 Vine, Hollywood CA MAP HERE
Full press release after the jump. Read the rest of this entry →
I’ve still not been to the reported Miracle Mile motor mecca that is the Petersen Museum — but at least I’ve known about it!
The same cannot be said for the vehicular valhalla otherwise known as The Nethercutt out in Sylmar. Up until a couple weeks ago that institution had somehow avoided me knowing about it my entire life — and it still would be unknown to me had Huell Howser himself not reached out from beyond the grave and told me about it (in the form of an old “Visiting” episode on KCET, but still). Bless you and thank you, Huell!
Wasting no time at all while marveling at all the shiny automobilia Huell was amongst, I wasted no time in googling up the Nethercutt’s website and making a reservation for a guided tour — and get this: it’s free.
Now I know… I know. You’re wondering what kind of catalytic converter have I been living under all my life!? You’ve been there six times, and are going back next week to check out the recently added 1956 Porsche! Well I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to to that apparently small minority of angelenos who, like me, have absolutely no clue. And to them I’m saying that for the love of all engines internally combusted, if you have even get the slightest wide-eyed when any kind of classic car rolls past you on the street, then you’ve got to get yourself out to Sylmar and prepare for your jaw to drop at all the mechanized majesty. Many, many times.
Seriously, if you have any type of appreciation for the history and design and evolution of Ye Olde Horseless Carriage, you’ve got to go and check out this unparalleled and extensive array of meticulously restored vehicles. As I said, the collection is free, but tour reservations are required). So click here to check out my Flickr set of images (thumbnailed above) from my visit last Saturday, and then make plans to go get yer car on and get upclose and personal with these magnificent mobile works of fine art.
WHAT: The Nethercutt Collection
WHERE: 15200 Bledsoe Street, Sylmar, CA 91342
WHEN: Guided tours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10a.m. or 1:30p.m. (Reservations are required)
NOTE: Directly across the street from the Nethercutt Collection is the Nethercutt Museum, housing a separate and more extensive group of vehicles. That’s open Tuesday – Saturday, 9a.m. – 4:30 p.m. It’s also free, but no reservation is required.
Or how to drive a tank fast on bias ply tires!
This film is a hoot. The tips apply if you drive a rear wheel drive tank on bias ply tires. The commentary is still sorta relevant when it comes to fast driving a car with rear wheel drive. I love the brown haze they called sky back in the day, my how things have improved!
Tip o the hat to Sergeant Tom LeVeque at Arcadia Pd who found this old video.
Love this video, just wish it had a sound track. Love the old stock footage from 1940′s Los Angeles where they really went out of their way to decorate for Christmas in Hollywood.
Merry Christmas all…
One of the oldest spans across the Los Angeles River, the 7th Street Bridge dates back to 1910 when the at-grade version included two-sets of trolley tracks. It quickly became one of the most congested ways across the river and by the late 1920s it was decided that rather than demolish the entire structure, a second level would be built on top giving it a double-decker appearance and allowing traffic to move freely without being impeded by any freight trains traveling through.
Ever since I first noticed that open but inaccessible lower level of the 7th Street Bridge about eight years ago, I’ve wondered what it’s like inside, and my curiosity only increased a couple years ago when LA River advocate Joe Linton found a way in and wrote about it on his blog LA Creek Freak. It again was piqued a few months ago when the news hit that there are plans in the very early stages to convert the space to an open-air market.
During a visit paid to the bridge last summer while on one of my riverbed rides, I couldn’t figure out how Linton got up there, and I had pretty much reconciled that the space was to remain off limits to me — until a couple weeks ago, when an acquaintance of Linton’s contacted me out of the blue and said she knew how he got in and would I be game to try. Of course I would, I said.
Happy 4th of July! Being a sucker for historic images of our city, I just had to share the following two exquisite views of Main Street, La Placita Church and the historic Los Angeles Plaza that I found on the History, Los Angeles County blog and the Watt Way blog. Both photographs were reportedly made in 1869, and may very well have been done by the same photographer on the same day — the first one facing east from Fort Moore Hill and the second facing north from the Pico House Hotel that was completed that same year (click to slightly enlargify):
Bonus image after the jump is one from Fort Moore Hill looking a bit more southeast of the location seven years later with Pico House at the right and the plaza having adopted its round configuration that remains today.